Book Excerpt: Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Data, and AI

Chapter 5: Overview

The fifth chapter of Dr. Alok Aggarwal’s new book, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution & 100 Years of AI (1950-2050)”, titled “Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Data, and AI,” discusses how Internet of Things (IoT) and AI are being combined to provide superior results in almost all industries worldwide.

IoT, a vast network of interconnected electronic devices, encompasses sensors, actuators, cameras, RFID tags, and more, all linked to the Internet or Intranets. Originating in 1982 when a Coca-Cola vending machine was connected to the Internet, IoT evolved significantly, with Peter Lewis formally defining it in 1985. Today, IoT extends beyond its original scope to the Internet of Everything (IoE), embracing devices, machines, living beings, and non-living objects with unique identifiers, fostering communication without human intervention.

Key Takeaways

1. IoT sector has been growing substantially and will continue to do so: During the last twelve years, IoT sector has been growing substantially and it will become vital for almost all sectors particularly those related to manufacturing, supply chain, healthcare, and consumer-related fields.

2. IoT and AI comprise a match made in heaven: IoT devices already produce humungous amounts of data that is being collated, harmonized, and analyzed for optimizing various aspects of human endeavor. Indeed, this data in conjunction with other structured and unstructured data is already becoming a crucial part of our infrastructure in the current industrial revolution and it will help in training AI systems better.

3. IoT-AI combination will make cities more efficient: Smart Cities will depend critically on IoT-AI combination and the following six sectors will make them extremely efficient and environment friendly – (a) green buildings, (b) climate-smart water and wastewater management infrastructure, (c) public transportation, (d) electric vehicles, (e) renewable energy, and (f) reducing waste and recycling it.

4. Current IoT implementations have significant impediments: Because of the following impediments, the annual growth rates may be substantially less than what some market research suggests – (a) insufficient connectivity via internet and intranets, (b) gaps in transmitted data by IoT devices, (c) lack of interoperability among devices and protocols, and (d) concerns regarding cybersecurity and privacy. Moreover, as mentioned in the first chapter, new technology takes significant time to seep deeply into human society, and the IoT sector will be no different. Although IoT may take fifteen or more years to become pervasive, once it seeps into the society, its effects will be far and wide, and considerably more than those imagined now.

5. The IoT sector is going through a hype cycle, which may be advantageous in the long run: Although the extensive hype regarding the growth of the IoT sector is likely to fizzle out, hopefully, during this boom-bust cycle, a new infrastructure related to IoT will be created just like what occurred in the second and third revolutions with railroads and electronic communication.


Overall, the book, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution & 100 Years of AI (1950-2050)” provides a concise yet comprehensive exploration of AI, covering its origins, evolutionary trajectory, and its potential ubiquity during the next 27 years. Beginning with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of AI, subsequent chapters delve into its transformative journey with an in-depth analysis of achievements of AI, with a special focus on the potential for job loss and gain. The latter portions of the book examine the limitations of AI, the pivotal role of data in enabling accurate AI systems, and the concept of “good” AI systems. It concludes by contemplating the future of AI, addressing the limitations of classical computing, and exploring alternative technologies (such as Quantum. Photonics, Graphene, and Neuromorphic computing) for ongoing advancements in the field. This book is now available in bookstores and online retailers in Kindle, paperback, and hard cover formats.

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